The Power Of Partnership To Help Family Caregivers – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Last week I had the honor to present continuing education classes for health and mental health professionals at Massachusetts Brightview Senior Living communities. On Friday morning, as I was preparing for the event at the Brightview Senior Living community, a lovely woman approached me holding a copy of Cruising through Caregiving.

This woman, Mary Todd, introduced herself & shared that she and her husband had recently moved into Brighview North Andover. She mentioned that she’d gotten her copy of Cruising Through Caregiving when she and her husband participated in Lori La Bey Alzheimer’s Speaks Dementia Caregiver Cruise back in November 2017. Brightview Senior Living had been generous enough to sponsor copies of Cruising Through Caregiving for every passenger on the cruise.

In addition to receiving the book and information about Brightview, Mrs. Todd told me that she after the cruise she had the opportunity to hear Patrick Doyle (Corporate Director of Dementia Care at Brightview) on Lori’s podcast. When Mrs. Todd decided that she and her husband were ready to move, Brighview was top of mind. It was a pleasure to partner with Brightview Senior Living Lori La Bey and Alzheimer’s Speaks. And Mary Todd thanks for introducing yourself and giving permission for us to share your story!

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

 

Assisted Living Week: How We Can Show Appreciation – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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In celebration of Assisted Living Week, Jenerations Health Education, Inc. would like to formally thank all the very generous senior living communities who have sponsored our family caregiver and continuing education programs over the years. It’s been quite a privilege for our speakers to be welcomed into these buildings which house thousands of older residents all over the country.

How can we health, legal and financial professionals who participate in senior living-sponsored educational events show our appreciation this week? Here are 5 ideas:

1. Remember you are visiting a residents’ home. Attending an educational event in a senior living community is not the same as attending one in a conference center. The staff are always striving to make sure you have a comfortable experience but their priority always must be resident care. So if it takes a little time for the free coffee to be refilled, try to be patient!

2. Try to leave the restrooms and event space the way you found it. When a senior living community opens up its doors to professionals, an additional burden is placed on housekeeping and dining services staff. That said, if there is a major spill, be sure to alert staff immediately to reduce both visitor and resident fall risk.

3. Take a tour! Many of us need to run out the door after the event to get back to our busy patient and client schedules. But if you have some time try to join the staff for a quick tour. You never know if a client, patient or even your own family member would be a good candidate for their services someday.

4. Send a quick thank you e-mail to the staff member who invited you. You might mention that you appreciated the presentation topic or the delicious omelet station. But better yet mention something positive you observed or experienced that day. Did you watch a certified nursing assistant patiently assist a resident down the hall? Note the nursing assistant’s name and pass on the compliment! Everyone in healthcare hears so many complaints–make their day by sharing something you saw that was positive.

5. Leave a review on social media! Most senior living communities have a Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram page. Mention your positive experience and include a photo of you enjoying their special event (just be cautious about featuring residents in a photo unless you have explicit permission from the resident and/or his/her power of attorney).

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Three Reasons You Aren’t Building Momentum With Your Senior Living Marketing Events – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Savvy senior living sales and marketing teams have long counted on events to help build their pipeline. Inquiry events build and further relationships with prospective residents and their family members. Continuing education and other networking events allow you to do the same with professional referral sources. But if you are struggling to build momentum with your senior living marketing events, maybe you are making one of these three mistakes:

  1. You aren’t planning far enough ahead. Even you are able to secure a quality speaker with minimal notice, you want to advertise at least a month ahead of time. Unless you already have a following of “regulars” who are on the lookout for your event information, it’s likely to be a tiny audience if your lead time is short.
  2. You assume prospective guests only need to hear about your event once. You know how fast-paced the world is. Don’t assume that one mailer will get the attention of your perfect audience. You want your ideal attendee to get sick of hearing about your event! Do e-blasts. Drop off flyers where your prospective guests congregate. Advertise in newsletters, newspapers as well as on social media. Ask non-competing industry partners to share with their networks. Make sure your guest speaker is engaged in this process as well.
  3. You aren’t ready when they show up. If the room in which your event is to be held is still being set up, your guests notice. They also notice if there isn’t someone from your community on hand to greet them when they arrive. If food is to be served after your speaker presents that’s fine– but at minimum beverage service (coffee, iced tea, water, etc.) should be available when guests arrive. A good rule of thumb is to have your room and refreshments ready at least 30 minutes before start time. And make sure you (or somebody) from your community is able to say hello to those early birds.

If you plan ahead, market the heck out of your event and are bright-eyed and organized when your senior living event guests arrive, you will be on your way to building your senior living event momentum!

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

3 Remarks You Want To Hear During Your Next Inquiry Marketing Event – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Do you host educational events for prospective residents and caregivers as part of your marketing plan?  If so, do you hang out for the actual educational presentation?  If you don’t, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to better understand the needs and desires of your prospective residents and the loved ones who help them make decisions.

In my experience, marketing and sales staff tend to focus on making sure their building looks great, the refreshments are plentiful, and that tours are offered after the speaker wraps up.  While all of this is important, the marketer’s presence during the program may be just as crucial.  Here are three comments recently stated during interactive presentations I’ve given at senior living communities for prospective residents and their adult children:

“I don’t do anything but go to work and take care of my father.  I am so tired and mad at my siblings who do nothing.”

“I’m ready to move.  But my wife said she won’t move so how do I convince her to visit senior living options?”

“I have had a headache almost every day for the last six weeks since my Aunt Sue has been in and out of the hospital.”

Why might a salesperson at a senior living community want to hear these remarks firsthand?  The prospective residents and family members are informally sharing either 1) objections that you need to know exist or 2) that your community may be the solution to the problem they have already articulated!

Don’t you want to be able to follow up with the attendee after the event to explore an objection highlighted during the event?  Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to naturally explain how your community might be the solution to the problem they’ve identified?  Consider this the next time you head back to your office to do paperwork after the speaker intro!

Stay tuned—next week I will be discussing how to get the most out of your events for professional referral sources.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Which Generations Should You Spend Your Money On?

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75-year old Janet put her house on the market with the intention of eventually moving to assisted living. Miraculously—and unexpectedly–her house sold virtually overnight! Upon the sale, Janet moved in with her daughter Connie and Connie’s husband Jeff as a temporary solution. Immediately Janet and Connie began the search for the right assisted living community.

Read More “Which Generations Should You Spend Your Money On?”